Elective subject “Technology Assessment”

The winter semester 2021/2022 is about to start. For the first time, KIT students will be able to enroll in the elective subject “Technology Assessment (TA)”.
KIT-Studierende in der Bibliothek
At KIT, the new elective subject bridges the gap between engineering sciences and societal research issues. (Photo: KIT)

The new TA courses on offer provide a bachelor’s degree program at the KIT Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and are thematically and methodologically interlinked. Thus, the program starts in WS 2021/2022 with a lecture and an accompanying seminar on “Conceptions and history of TA” which provides a broad overview of the topics of TA.

In the following semesters, the program continues with topics from social science, philosophy, and methodology such as “ethics of technology” or the premises of (parliamentary) “advice”. The study program is supported by a number of ITAS researchers and is designed as a “supplementary elective” for students from different disciplines.

Providing insights into the societal relevance of technological innovations

The aim of the study program represents one of the objectives of KIT as a whole: to provide in-depth insights into the way in which technical and scientific innovations develop social relevance. “The link between contributions from engineering science and societal issues has become highly relevant for a responsible shaping of the future,” says Bettina-Johanna Krings, who coordinated and co-designed the curriculum at ITAS.

Not only students, but also technology assessment itself will benefit from a stronger commitment to teaching: “We are now able to align TA and its research activities even closer with academic training and teaching and close a gap between academic and application-oriented research,” explains Krings. Therefore, a program for master’s students is also planned for the future. (28.09.2021)

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